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Govt will have to approach IMF for help: Rashid

LAHORE: Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad says the government will have to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sooner or later to improve the economic situation of the country.

“In such a situation, the governments cannot avoid the IMF and the PTI government also will have to go to the IMF finally,” the minister told the media on the premises of the Planning and Development Department.

He said being a member of the Economic Coordination Committee he was in contact with Finance Minister Asad Umar on the matter of mini-budget and other issues.

“I am sure there would be no pressure on the poor in the mini-budget,” Mr Rashid believed, saying the government had collected about US $4 to 6 billion from other countries, enabling it to minimise its dependence on the IMF.

He appreciated Chief Minister Usman Buzdar for directing the P&D department to revive Nullah Lai project and complete it within the stipulated timeframe. The project cost had exceeded to Rs40bn from Rs16bn due to various issues — such as cost escalation and increase in length of the project for 6km, he claimed.

Says he will ask PM to accommodate him as PAC member

Earlier, at a press conference at the railways headquarters, Mr Rashid said he would ask Prime Minister Imran Khan to accommodate him as member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) by dropping someone from the PTI.

“Since I am representing a separate political party, I will write to the PM to also include me in the PAC. There is no issue in my appointment as PAC member,” he said.

Talking about the ongoing reforms in the railways, he said there was a plan to construct shopping malls at Rohri and other major railway stations.

He said Railways would soon introduce a gift scheme on tickets just like some airlines give to their passengers.

He said the railways would soon launch two VVIP state-of-the-art trains wherein facilities and cleanliness would be provided like a five-star hotel.

“We are inviting Prime Minister Imran Khan for inauguration of Lahore railway station’s main hall and new trains,” he added.

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